(Part I) The way in which people are told of their need for a Savior often varies (unfortunately) not only in exact wording but also in content. The resulting problem is that a church building can be full of people who are either frustrated in their new walks with God, or they are altogether unconverted, having never understood the gospel in the first place. John the Baptist did not leave much to question in his presentation of the truth; he called people to repentance in a way that did not minimize sin and judgment. He recognized, through the Spirit’s illumination, the need for people to be rescued from their hopeless plights and so found no reason to sugarcoat his message. In this message we see that the call to repentance, 1) is proclaimed by God to lost people, 2) is accompanied by the promise of the forgiveness of sins, 3) is given boldly so that men and women will know why they must repent, 4) bears fruit in the hearts of those who respond to it by faith, 5) points people to the lordship of Jesus Christ, and 6) will be rejected by many. Such a framework aids the believer in taking the truth of the gospel to a lost world.
Summary by Seth Kempf, Bethany Community Church Staff